Previously at the ICA - Events

Courtesy of RIBA Library Photographs Collection

Friday Salon: Colonial Modernity (and its Crises)

14 Mar 2014

A critical discussion investigating colonial modernism of the 20th Century. Modern architecture and city planning by European or American teams in late colonial or very newly independent nations in Africa and South Asia acted as symbols and organisational models for an 'advanced' society. Taking the architect Jane Drew and the display at the ICA as a starting point, the salon examines how the integration of the vernacular practices presented a crisis within universal modernism and the relationship between the process of de-colonisation and modernist planning.

The discussion will feature contributions from Mark Crinson, Inheritance Projects, Tim Livsey and Marion von Osten.

Mark Crinson is Professor of Art History at the University of Manchester. His books include Empire Building: Victorian Architecture and Orientalism (1994), Modern Architecture and the End of Empire(2003), Stirling and Gowan: Architecture from Austerity to Affluence (2012), and (co-edited with Claire Zimmerman) Neo-avantgarde to Postmodern: Postwar Architecture in Britain and Beyond (2011). He is currently working on a study of internationalism and modern architecture.

Inheritance Projects is an independent research-led curatorial group led by Claire Louise Staunton and Laura Guy. Initiated in 2007 as a vehicle to interrogate museological schemata, the narrations of history and personal and national heritage, Inheritance has developed into wider territories of investigation. Inheritance works with artists, architects and writers in collaboration with institutions to produce new art projects and to develop politically informed, critical discourses around particular topics or situations. These situations are often defined by their histories (museums and heritage spaces) or their relative newness (New Towns internationally) and are the contexts for long-term research projects. Recent projects include, Intentions - Strategies – Works at Tate Liverpool, Open Letter at Sarai New Delhi and Chandigarh, Ulterior Vistas Tris Vonna-Michell at BALTIC, Missing Houses Support Structure at Nottingham Contemporary and Community without Propinquity at MK Gallery. www.inheritanceprojects.org

Tim Livsey recently completed an AHRC-funded PhD entitled ‘The University Age: Development and Decolonisation in Nigeria, 1930 to 1966’ at Birkbeck, University of London. He has research interests in histories of Africa, colonialism, development and built environments; and had written articles and reviews for journals including Urban History and the Journal of Historical Geography.

Marion von Osten is an artist and cultural researcher. She works with curatorial, artistic, and theoretical approaches that converge through the medium of exhibitions, installations, video, and text productions. Her main research interests concern cultural production in postcolonial societies, technologies of the self, and the governance of mobility. She is a founding member of Labor k3000 in Zürich and of kleines post-fordistisches Drama (kpD) and the Center for Post-colonial Knowledge and Culture in Berlin. Between 2006 and 2012 she was Professor of Art and Communication at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Vienna. Recent research and exhibition projects include: Model House—Mapping Transcultural Modernisms, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Vienna, 2010–2013; and Architectures of Decolonization, Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Paris, 2011–2012.

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